It has been another week to forget for us city fans with the administrator finally coming to a decision over the future of Coventry City Ltd.
The decision as with everything else related to the Skyblues was put back a week to make us fans suffer just that little bit more. This delay allowed ACL the time to attempt to give themselves some good publicity. Initially their announcement which suggested that the Skyblues could play at the Ricoh for free was met with appreciation from many fans but it very quickly became apparent that this was an empty statement which actually had no meaning behind it whatsoever.
Within the statement was an admission that this offer was only on the table for as long as the club was in administration. Administration was never going to last until the start of the season so in actual fact there was never any chance of this offered deal ever actually coming to fruition.
ACL weren’t finished there though as they threw their hats into the ring with a late bid for Coventry City Ltd stating the fans had of Coventry City had suffered enough. Again though it became apparent this was never a serious bid and once again was an attempt to get fans on their side. These stunts were not necessary as every city fan alive now has nothing but a feeling of contempt for SISU and nothing will now ever change this.
ACL have made moves which make me worry about them not just as a business but as a potential partner to the football club. It is obvious the council have heavy influence especially since they bailed ACL out and this to me is a huge concern. Recent publicity stunts have politicians written all over them and for me politics has no place in football.
ACL being a partner to the football club though is the least of our worries after what can only be described as a decision which could well be catastrophic to the clubs future.
The Administrator named Otium a SISU related company as preferred bidders for CCFC Ltd effectively handing complete control back to SISU who I now feel actually never lost control not even for a second.
From the start when ACL threatened Administration it seems like SISU had a plan. Their decision to appoint their own administrator is where this fight was won for them. From this moment they had a man who they had chosen making all of the important decisions on the future of the club.
The question is whether or not to believe that Paul Appleton acted completely independently or whether he had influence from powers above i.e. SISU. Obviously the latter accusation is a serious one but if you look closely at the situation it is a feasible accusation.
Obviously as already mentioned SISU appointed the administrator which with SISU’s prior reputation already makes you ask questions. Secondly because of the clubs structure the administrator was able to stay very much out of the limelight and at times almost hid behind this with us fans having to wait weeks before we heard from him.
We did however hear from holdings and fisher on numerous occasions and we were all asking the questions of why they were still making statements on behalf of the club. We convinced ourselves that the administrator had no control over this and maybe he didn’t but to me SISU seemed too confident throughout of keeping hold of the club as a whole.
Finally and possibly the most convincing argument is that of the justification behind the administrators decision. He justifies the decision by suggesting that Otium’s (SISU’s) bid “was the bid which gave the greatest return to the unsecured, non-connected creditors of CCFC Limited by a considerable margin”. This is all well and good and is one of the main purposes of an administrator but Ii is not the sole purpose. An administrator’s job is to leave the company in a better more sustainable state than which he receives it in.
With Coventry City this is clearly not the case. When weighing up all of the mitigating factors including the club moving out of Coventry, ground sharing for 3 years, building a new stadium, the costs involved, fans threatening to boycott, sponsors pulling out, lack of any income, fair play rules limiting the playing squad, potential for relegation and this list only touches the surface as it could truly go on and on.
How when the administrator looked at these facts he came to the decision that SISU were the best thing for this club and this business in both the long and the short term is beyond me. Administration genuinely has to be immediately on the cards once we exit it in the next couple of weeks which is baffling to say the least.
I am yet to mention the football league and if I’m being honest I don’t know why I am bothering because they seem to bring nothing to this whole situation other than that we have found out that they don’t care about the football fans in this country which keep them in business.
Our feelings and opinions have been ignored for long enough and it is time for Coventry fans to show our strength in numbers. What is happening to our club right now should not be allowed to happen and I fear we are heading now towards the Wimbledon situation of a few years ago. Wimbledon fans took the extreme option to make sure they had a club which was theirs and that they could be proud of. I commend them for this and honestly right now I would not be against that happening to us.
There does though remain the smallest glimmer of hope for the club as we know it with Preston Haskell being confirmed that he is yet to give up the fight for both the Ricoh and the club. Our club could yet be saved but I believe there is more chance of the club going under and I like many others have almost reached the point of giving up.